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Supporting families through the winter

Published: Wednesday, 14th December 2022

The city council is supporting children and families this winter with a number of initiatives.

The Holiday Activities and Food winter programme - Bring it on Brum - returns, helping children, young people and their parents have fulfilling, active, fun-filled and healthy school holidays. It is the biggest programme of its kind in the country.

There are hundreds of events available, free ideas and resources for keeping children and young people busy, indoor and outdoor games, cookery skills, arts and crafts, sports, fitness and dance, health and wellbeing, quizzes, park activities, nature trails and more. Activities offer a hot meal or snack should children choose to have one. 

The holiday clubs are designed for children who are eligible for free school meals.

Funding comes from central government and this year the city council has also funded 1,900 food parcels for families over the Christmas holidays, match-funding parcels that are being provided through the Holiday Activities and Food programme. These food parcels will feed a family of four for four days, meaning that 30,000 meals will be provided.

Additionally, some of the latest Household Support Fund allocation will be given to schools across Birmingham for them to support families over the winter.

The £613,000 will be distributed to 318 schools and nurseries; these schools have been chosen as they support the most deprived children and young people in the city. The size of the allocation based on how many pupils are at each school.

While the council doesn't specify what the money is spent on, suggestions include food or fuel vouchers, boxes of essential items or help before and after school or to access digital resources to help with studying.

Cllr Karen McCarthy, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: "Everyone deserves a good break and school holidays are better when there’s a great choice of things to do to keep children and young people active.

"Being able to support families with children is particularly important in the cost of living crisis and as winter really starts to bite. I am so pleased that we are using some of the Household Support Fund to help schools help families over winter, and I know the response from schools has been really positive."

The wider Household Support Fund allocation was approved at cabinet on 13 December.

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